Monday, December 22, 2008

2008 Comes to a Close

Well folks, another year filled with a fair balance of good things and struggles is coming to a close. In terms of early animation history, 2008 saw the unearthing of some more unknown cartoons which will now be preserved at the Library of Congress.
One of the most important feats was my purchase of a 16mm film transfering unit so that I can put my 16mm films on DVD in-house. Folks, if you need 16mm film transferred, throw me an email!

There I am, looking on strangely as a I screen a cartoon on the unit.

Here's wishing all of you a very Happy Holiday season and I hope to look forward to a new year filled with more discoveries, adventures, and most of all, hopefully more posts on my blog!!!
In an attempt to have you, the reader, be a little bit more participant... I am installing a Guest Book accessible on the right hand side. Feel free to post suggestions, things you'd like to know about 1910s-1920s cartoons and any other comments, gripes, and praises you may have.
Til next year!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

RIP, Emru Townsend

The animation community has lost a key contributor, Emru Townsend, to leukemia on 11 November 2008. My condolences go out to the Townsends and all else who were close with him.
For more information, visit CARTOON BREW
To learn more about donating bone marrow, please visit Heal Emru

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

NEW Dvd releases!

NEW For Late 2008- Five Early Animation DVD Releases!

Tom Stathes's WINTER CARTOON RARITIES! Featuring brand new, 'cool' and 'crisp' transfers from Tom's own 16mm film print library. Includes...

Alice's Orphan (Disney, 1925)
When the Snow Flies (Terry, 1927) Farmer Alfalfa beats himself up in this lost classic!
Skating Hounds (Van Beuren, 1928) More Farmer Alfalfa goodness.
Frozen Frolics (Van Beuren, 1930)
Snow Time (Van Beuren, 1930)
Krazytoons: Alaska Daze (Krazy Kat, 1932)
The Snowman (Ted Eshbaugh, 1933) A truly obscure cult-classic.
South Pole or Bust (Terrytoons, 1934)
Frosty the Snowman (1954)
Little Snow Flake (Sterling T.V., 1958)
The Toy Shop (Tiffany Color Symphony, 1928) An early Technicolor novelty short.

Retail: $20.00
Blog list price: $15.00


TS-37 Krazytoons (Brand new 16mm transfers) $20.00
Attention Baby Boomers and obscurity fans! Krazytoons were a series of older cartoons repackaged for ca1960 television. Most of the films were retitled and you've probably seen some of these in their original versions. Half the fun is identifying them correctly!

Slow Poke (Krazy Kat)
Birds (Van Beuren)
An Ill Wind (Iwerks)
Hunting Season (Van Beuren)
Boyhood Daze (Scrappy)
Cave Man (Ising)
Butcher (Lantz)
Western Whoopie (Lantz)
Three Blind Mice (NFBC)
Pixie Tricks (Deteriorated, Van Beuren)


TS-38 Cartoons at Home (Brand new 16mm transfers) $20.00
Here you will get a glimpse into how your ancestors enjoyed cartoons from the 1920s and 1930s at home by renting 16mm prints from various distributors before the days of television. You may have seen some of these in their original versions, but chances are you've not seen these alternate versions which have been out of use for sixty-plus years.

Fighting Flees (Kitty Kat Cartoons: Felix the Cat)
Alice's Tin Pony (Novelty Film Co.)
Racing Fever (Screen Attractions Corp.)
Tuning In (Unknown Dist.)
El Toreador (Unknown Dist.)
Midnight Frolics (Unknown Dist.)
War Daze (Unknown Dist.)
Magazine Rack (Screen Attractions Corp.)
Slight Fantastic (Screen Attractions Corp.)
Hey Fever (Hollywood Film Enterprises)


TS-39 Felix the Cat Vol. 5 (Brand New 16mm transfers) $20.00
Everyone's favorite cat is back again in time for his 90th birthday!

Felix Revolts (1923)
Felix Gets Broadcasted (1923)
Felix in Fairyland (1923)
Felix Finds 'Em Fickle (1925) excerpt
Felix Brings Home the Bacon (1924) Excerpt
Felix Follows Swallows (1925) excerpt
Felix in the Land of Fancy (1926)
Felix Trumps the Ace (1926)
Felix Dines and Pines (1927)


TS-40 Mutt & Jeff Vol. 2 (Brand new 16mm transfers) $20.00
Featuring lovely brand new cover art!

Cramps (1916)
A Kick for Cinderella (1924)
Invisible Revenge (1925)
Mummy O' Mine (1926)
The Globe Trotters (1926) excerpt
Westward Whoa (1926) Original b&w footage!
Aroma of the South Seas (1926; 1931 b&w/sound)
Aroma of the South Seas (1926; 1931 color/silent)

Shipping extra. Simply email if interested. Thanks always, friends.

Tom's Vintage Film- The largest source of Early Animation offering some 350 cartoons!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Halloween Reel DVD Now on Sale!


A special, never-before-attempted DVD collection of some of Tom Stathes's Halloween film favorites, many of which are available nowhere else or difficult to obtain. Culled from his private 16mm film print collection are an array of silent and sound cartoons, with a bonus silent comedy, sure to make for enjoyable viewing and perhaps a social gathering event during your Halloween holiday.
Without further adieu, the DVD features:

Krazy Kat in The Awful Spook (Bray Studios, 1921)
Felix the Ghost Breaker (Messmer/Sullivan, 1923) Clip
Alice's Mysterious Mystery (Disney, 1926)
Felix in Sure Locked Homes (Messmer/Sullivan, 1928)
Koko's Haunted House (Fleischer, 1928)
The Haunted Ship (Van Beuren, 1930)
Wot a Night (Van Beuren, 1931)
The Vulcan Entertains (Iwerks, 1934)
Jasper's Haunted House (Pal, 1942)
The Friendly Ghost (Famous Studios, 1945)
Plus Bonus Comedy:
Goofy Ghosts (Christie, 1928) with Jimmie Adams.

These films have been carefully and professionally transferred from 16mm original prints and are not duplicated from any other source.

***Also featuring horrifically amateurish cover art drawn by Tom Stathes himself!***

Online price: $20.00

Contact for questions and ordering.
Thanks friends!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Out of Print

Recommended viewing for my fellow true is this?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Yes, they were all a little biased back then.

It might not surprise you to know that a 1920 cartoon by the adored Max Fleischer entitled THE CHINAMAN incorporates some biased or racist gags in the storyline. In fact, we as seasoned animation enthusiasts for the most part have become somewhat expecting of these realities that were all too commonplace in the earlier decades of film.
The film in question had seen post-theatrical distribution namely on television as part of the Bray Studios TV library; in the same way other early cartoons were seen on kiddie TV shows in the 1950s. The only difference is that later version had been cut.
Thanks to the wonders of "home movie" film distribution slightly earlier in the 1930s and 1940s, here for your enjoyment is a brief though UNEDITED clip from the cartoon. For those of you who have seen the common version you will probably notice a couple differences. Enjoy, as always.

Friday, September 12, 2008

More 1920s Fable Goodness

This here is a gift from a very gracious 16mm collector. Judging by the style and content, could it be A JEALOUS FISHERMAN (1924)? What do you guys think?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Summer Hiatus, Sort Of...

Well folks, as you regular surfers already know, I'm good at random and unexpected disappearing acts. While I never intentionally leave my blog to fester or ever like doing so, things come up that either distract or prevent me from posting new stuff to the blog.
I know y'all understand :-)
Hopefully soon I'll be uploading some cool stuff for you to enjoy. I visited one of the former Bray Studios locations and we took some pictures which I'll post shortly. I've been meaning to visit more of the old NY studio locations, that is, those of which still exist in the form of the original building.
In any case, see you all in blog land hopefully soon!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Conveying Power of Film

Recently I stumbled upon a nice website where you can post articles you've written and potentially generate revenue with adsense and other types of ads which are displayed on your article's page.
One of the first few I've written so far is titled Conveying Power of Film; basically a brief look at the power film has as a communicative, entertaining, and educational medium. I think some of my blog visitors might enjoy reading it...
Conveying Power of Film
If you enjoy writing, I'd recommend joining. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

American Slapstick Vol. 2: BUY THIS!

Produced by David Kalat of ALL DAY ENTERTAINMENT, American Slapstick Volume 2 is the second entry in a series which celebrates and preserves the history of slapstick comedy in early film. The series features well-known favorites such as Charlie Chaplin, but the brilliant thing is that much more obscure films are proudly featured; a practice which has been rarely seen in collections of silent film.
As you'll know from poking around my blog, I am animation fan as well as a silent film fan. Most appropriately, this DVD collection features two Otto Messmer/Pat Sullivan cartoons depicting Charlie Chaplin, produced in the late 1910s. These are a real treat for both the silent comedy and animation fan.
Yours truly loaned both cartoons for this DVD project and I was more than happy to do so, as David Kalat and ALL DAY produce wonderfully professional DVD collections. Kudos, David!
You will find more information and can purchase the collection HERE
I'm hoping some of my blog readers will pursue this and if you do, I'd love to hear back about how you enjoyed the DVD... especially the cartoons!
All Day Entertainment

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Something you won't see on the Popeye DVDs...

If the big studios had ongoing efforts to search for things they need among collectors, that might not be the case!
Another treat from my vast collection is a 1940s print of CUSTOMERS WANTED, a very well-known Popeye cartoon. The vintage nature of this print preserves its originality in that it predates any sort of butchering done for TV reissue... that is, original titles are intact. As you'll see, this print is far from mint condition but I know you enthusiasts out there will appreciate the Paramount credits being intact.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Remembering George Carlin

He will be sorely missed. Below I am posting a text that has been possibly mistakenly attributed to Carlin, and even if not in line with his philosophy, I still feel it's appropriate.

The Paradox of Our Time
by George Carlin(?)

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness. We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbour. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things. We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.

Remember, spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever. Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side. Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent. Remember, to say, "I love you" to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all, mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you. Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again. Give time to love, give time to speak, and give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Archive Cleaning Blues... not!

I know, I know... I've been *slightly* shying away from my main interest of silent animation but just for a short while. Tonight, Tom brings you a genuine rarity of the sound era. Granted, the cartoon itself is not rare at all, but the version certainly is!
Lo and behold, a set of main titles UM&M and NTA did not want you to see! (Sorry folks, the ending is abrupt...but enjoy)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Felix the Inventor!

Another gem from my 16mm collection is an Astra TV print of FELIX TURNS THE TIDE (1922), so appropriately (yet confusingly) titled The Inventor. If you've seen the Radio & Television Packagers redrawn cartoons of the 1970s, you may notice that the colorized version of this Felix cartoon is also titled The Inventor. As I've suggested elsewhere (and maybe here on the blog, though I forget), most of the sources for that batch of redrawns were the Astra TV prints. I'm currently trying to research the connection between the two.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Paul Terry, Suicidal Thoughts, and Black-Market Television...

...a winning combination! What's cuter in a 1930s cartoon than hearing an adorable but lamenting rabbit sing "I think I'll end it all"? Pudgy, later Oswald Rabbit and others wouldn't have anything on the "scared rabbit".
What more could make this cartoon great? Well ladies and gentleman, this happens to be a glorious BOOTLEG print straight from my 16mm library. Transferred on my new machine is the spectacular "Scared Rabbit" (originally a 1937 Terrytoon titled THE TIMID RABBIT) from my favorite distributor, Astra TV. Crank up the sound folks, this isn't Hollywood lab work...oh, and enjoy the original leader and tail from the film print (you'll noticed "Scared Rabbit" scratched into the negative as it strolls by on both ends) left intact for all you film purists.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Silent Comedy (for a quick change)

Here are two clips recently found spliced together in a bunch of stuff I bought. As some of you may know, these things were cut up and retitled for home use. I transferred them on my brand new Tobin machine and uploaded them for the general good as well as so any keen historian out there can properly identify the origin of these clips...that is, the original theatrical titles.
Both star Henry [Harry] Murdock and the first costars George Burton. Enjoy.

*HILARIOUS* gag (in my opinion) involving an 'innocent bystander' of sorts being shot later in the first clip. Hah! Long live slapstick.

Friday, May 23, 2008

New Silent Cartoon DVDs

Well gang, I've put together 5 more DVDs for your perusal...

TS-32: Out of the Inkwell Vol. 4
Tantalizing Fly (1919)
Clown's Little Brother (1920)
Ouija Board (1920)
Koko Chops Suey (1927)
Koko's Hot Ink (1929)
Koko's Haunted House (1928)
Koko's Earth Control (1927)
Koko's Big Sale (1929)
Koko the Kop (1927)

TS-33 Mutt & Jeff
Ups and Downs (1926)
Accidents Won't Happen (1926)
Soda Jerks (1925)
Slick Sleuths (1925, original b/w)
Mixing in Mexico (1925)
Playing with Fire (1925)
Oceans of Trouble (1925)
Lots of Water (1925)
Slick Sleuths (1930 color)
Home Movie Clips Reel
(Special Thanks to Jerry Beck for some sources.)

TS-34 Farmer Alfalfa Vol. 4
Cracked Ice (1927)
Hunstman (1928)
Medicine Man (1927)
Mouse's Bride (1928)
Monkey Shines (1920s)
Coast to Coast (1928)
Sunday on the Farm (1928)
Buck Fever (1926)

TS-35 Farmer Alfalfa Vol. 5
Short Circuit (1928)
Wedding Bells (1920s)
Cat and the Magnet (1924)
One Hard Pull (1923)
On the Air (1920s)
Cat's Life (1920s)
Magic Boots (1920s)
Chemistry Lesson (1922)

TS-36 Farmer Alfalfa Vol. 6
Day at the Park (1920s)
Wonders of the Deep (1920s)
Closer Than a Brother (1925)
Window Washers (1925)
Ugly Duckling (1925)
Canadian Capers (1931)
Owl & Pussycat (1934)
Old Dog Tray (1935, silent version)

For ordering details, click the Tom's Vintage Film banner above on this blog and visit the DVD page.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Random Thoughts

Well folks, as you can see, I've been away from the blog for some time. This is due to the school semester winding down to a close among various other things. Thankfully this summer I will have ample time to dedicate to animation history related pursuits.
What is new in the life of Tom? Well, I've reached a goal that I had set some years back- that was to one day own a 16mm film transferring machine! I'm happy to report that I'm a proud owner of a brand new Tobin TVT-16 unit which gives great transfers right in my own home. No more risking my rare films in transit...some have in fact been lost that way! :-(
This means that now I will be able to not only put plenty of scarce material onto the market, but do it in a much more professional way than I had been doing formerly. As you can imagine, some projects are now in the works that will blow the minds of all you early/silent/obscure animation fans.
Besides working on this particular venture, I will have more time to update the blog- I've been looking forward to keeping it more up to date and keeping you guys and gals stimulated.
And now, I will treat you to a 'classic' from my 16mm collection, ROUGH ON RATS from Van Beuren. This is a quick transfer to video made while Thad Komorowski was visiting recently (hence him uploading it to youtube). Enjoy and I'll be seein' ya.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Ollie Johnston (1912-2008)

The animation community has lost a true legend. Ollie Johnston, the last living of Disney's "Nine Old Men" has passed away. Coverage can be found on Jerry Beck's Cartoon Brew.
Rest in peace, Ollie.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

What are Krazytoons?

Krazytoons: Another wacky bunch of black-market TV usual, featuring both well known and obscure cartoons from the 1920s-1940s.
Enjoy AN ILL WIND (actually, Iwerk's HUMPTY DUMPTY JR. from 1935)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Not for the comically prudish...

Simply put, strange stuff happens when in the company of fellow obscure animation fans. A couple weekends ago I had the pleasure of spending a Saturday with good friend Charlie Judkins (blog link at right.) As you can imagine we spent ample time watching both obscure and classic cartoons; early and more contemporary.
However, things became interesting when we decided to, as Charlie put it, "draw posters for silent cartoons that no longer survive."
Here's what I came up with for such a cartoon:

Kudos, Tom, you've successfully disturbed yourself.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

It's February already?!

Wow, I didn't realize how long I've let the blog languish without updates. I suppose you can chalk it up to being busy with college, animation wheeling and dealing, and so forth.
So, what's new? I had the honor of attending the early Japanese animation show at the Japan Society on Saturday, Feb. 15th. What an enjoyable array of early cartoons...some funny, some hilarious, and others leaving you puzzled. Just my kind of mix!
Also at this show were good friends Mark Newgarden and Charlie Judkins.
{Entry has been edited}
Here are some cool silent film intertitles. I do not own the prints these came from, but some quick background info.
These were present in several World War 1 newsreels that were sold to the home movie market by Kodak's "Kodak Cinegraph" branch. Apparently the artist was of some large scale popularity at one point. The cards remind me of Bowers' AWOL (1918) and some of the art is reminiscent of Colonel Heeza Liar or Mutt & Jeff.

More soon!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Welcome to 2008!

Well friends, a new year is here. This year I hope to venture into some new animation history-related projects.

2007 has been my best year yet in terms of cartoon discoveries, meeting new people in the field, and all sorts of wonderful things.
While we've corresponded for a very long time, I was finally able to meet Jerry Beck and Mark Newgarden in person, two highly accomplished historians/collectors and individuals I highly respect. Cool new acquaintances include Mike Matei, Marc Deckter, Kevin Gannon, Charlie Judkins, and Jared Whitham. Heck, I was even quoted in a national publication! (See USA Weekend post somewhere below on this page).

Of course I will put out some new DVDs (maybe even tinker with some restoration work? who knows!). What I really need to get is an Elmo TRV-16 or a new Tobin TVT-16 transfer machine to do professional in-house transfers.

For the longest time I've had an itch to put pen to paper, or finger to keyboard...and perhaps start work on a book. Whatever it would be about, you can bet your bottom dollar I would shed light on some obscure aspect of silent animation. Many studio stories have been told in-depth by very well researched historians, but due to availability issues, not much has been written about the films themselves....I'd like to change that.

Anywhoo, I just hope all of you have a Happy and Healthy 2008. Keep stress levels low, reconnect with friends, and do the things you enjoy most. I'll sign off with a recent YouTube upload from yours truly...a 1920s stop-motion film reissued in the 1940s with corny narration by Sterling Films.